Ashfaq Ahmed was born on 22 August 1925 in Firozpur, Indian Punjab. He obtained his early education in his abode. He completed his Masters in Urdu literature from Government College Lahore. Bano Qudsia, his wife and companion in Urdu literary circles who is also a novelist of Urdu, was his classmate at Government College. (Source: Wikipedia)
Ashfaq Ahmed was a truly intellectual person that Muslims saw in the sub-continent after Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal. His understanding of the life and religion was just wonderful. In his later period of life, Ahmed was greatly inclined towards Sufism, which was visibly reflected in most of his works. His close association with Qudrat Ullah Shahab and Mumtaz Mufti was also attributed for this tendency.
Mumtaz Mufti, in his book Alakh Nagari (الکھ نگری) pays high tribute to Ashfaq Ahmed and removes curtain from his deep personality. Ashfaq Ahmed, in his last few years of life, started a very different discussion filled TV programme named as Zaavia (زاویہ). In this programme he used to talk on different aspects of life, i.e. charity, simplicity, fate and relation with Allah (God) etc. His guests were the groups of youngsters sitting around him in a hall. In this series of highly well acclaimed sessions Ashfaq Ahmed tried his best to teach the lessons that can bring happiness and peace to our life. His Zaavia programmes were also published later, which set good sale records.
He wrote down a number of novels that inclued Aik Muhabbat So Afsane (ایک محبت، سو افسانے), Aik Zakham aur Sahi (ایک زخم اور سہی), Arz-e-musannif (عرض مصنف), Aur Dramey (اور ڈرامے) Band Gali (بند گلی), Baba Sahiba (بابا صاحبا), Dhandoraa (ڈھنڈورا)- Talqeen Shah, Gadariya (گڈریا), Gulldan (گلدان) and Mann Chalay ka Sauda (من چلے کا سودا).
Ashfaq Ahmed passed away on 7 September 2004 due to suffering from cancer. I would recommend that his work must be taught in the colleges and universities across Pakistan so that the new generations could know about his great work and at the same time follow his teachings for becoming better human beings. The nations who follow the path of their spiritual leaders can never fail in any field of life.
Allah SWT may bless his soul with Jannat ul Firdous. Ameen!
Note: Episodes of Zaavia (زاویہ) can also be watched on Youtube.